Message from the Superintendent Regarding Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Maryland
March 5th, 2020
The following update was sent to the HCPSS community by Superintendent Michael Martirano on March 5, 2020:
As you may be aware, Governor Hogan announced this evening that three cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) have been confirmed in Maryland. All three cases are located in Montgomery County and are contained.
This evening, I spoke with Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman, who has been in contact tonight with officials at the state level. Dr. Rossman shared that proper precautions and procedures were followed in these cases, minimizing risk to fellow Maryland residents. She also shared that the best thing each of us can do is continue to monitor our health and practice the following enhanced precautions as recommended by the Howard County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home when you are sick
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash (or coughing/sneezing into your sleeve or elbow)
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces
As stated by Governor Hogan this evening, Maryland residents should continue to go to work and children to school. HCPSS schools and scheduled activities will continue until a change is deemed necessary by local and state health professionals.
Our schools are stocked with soap, water and paper towels so students can wash their hands, and we have purchased and supplied additional hand sanitizer stations to ensure every school is equipped. Additionally, students are permitted to bring their own hand sanitizer to school. If needed, staff will make adjustments to the school schedule in order to provide adequate time for students to wash their hands – particularly before lunch.
As promised, I will continue to provide regular updates to our community. The HCPSS website is the best source of information related to the school system’s response to the COVID–19 threat with details, resources and answers to frequently asked questions.
Thank you for continuing to keep our county healthy by helping your children understand the importance of the enhanced precautions detailed above.